02 February 2021
Volume 2 · Issue 1

As children get older, personal wellbeing scores drop, with a bigger decrease seen in girls, suggests an Education Policy Institute report

The Education Policy Institute has released a report on ‘Young people's mental and emotional health’, which examines ‘trajectories and drivers in adolescence’. The report analysed factors across the individual, family, school and area levels, in order to understand what drives personal wellbeing.

The data for the report were based on a combination of the data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which surveyed 5000 young people born around the year 2000 who live in England, and data from virtual focus groups of young people aged between 14 and 16 years old.

On average, mental and emotional health suffers as children leave primary school and begin secondary school, with a continued drop as children move through secondary school. For girls, this drop in personal wellbeing is greater than for boys, with a particular focus on personal appearance. One in seven girls reported being unhappy with their appearance at the end of primary school, compared to one in three by the age of 14 years old.

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